Spurrier stumps for all of Gamecocks’ top bowl possibilities

dcloninger@thestate.comDecember 5, 2013 

South Carolina has yet to find out where it’s headed for a bowl game, but that didn’t stop coach Steve Spurrier on Thursday night from lauding the merits of several.

“If we had a chance to go to the Cotton Bowl, that would be neat,” Spurrier said during his call-in radio show. “But also, the Capital One Bowl is one of the very best in the country. It would probably be a lot easier for our fans to get on the interstate and head south.”

Spurrier told The State on Tuesday that playing in the Cotton Bowl – set for Jan. 3 in Dallas – would be unique, since the Gamecocks have never played in it and there would be a chance that USC could play Oklahoma, and Spurrier’s close pal Bob Stoops. He mentioned how fun that would be again on Thursday, but also stumped for the Capital One Bowl, which the Gamecocks played in two years ago.

Spurrier mentioned the weather in Orlando, Fla., on Thursday was around 80 degrees, and the ease of the travel to get there. That game will be played on Jan. 1, and according to projections, may be the most likely destination for USC.

With Alabama likely headed to the BCS and the winner of the SEC Championship Game also headed there, USC is out of luck for one of the most prestigious bowls. Depending on the result of the SEC title game, though, the Gamecocks could be in the Cotton or Capital One Bowls.

Spurrier also mentioned that the Outback Bowl would be a nice game, even after playing there last year and the Gamecocks playing there three other times in their history.

Wishing

USC finished its third straight 6-2 SEC season but once again has to watch as another team represents the SEC East in the SEC Championship Game. The Gamecocks have also had to swallow beating the eventual East champion in each of the past three years, yet not winning the East.

“We’d like to be practicing for the game in Atlanta this week, but we’re not,” Spurrier said. “Give Missouri credit, after we beat them, they didn’t lose. I guess if we want to win the division, we better try to beat everybody.”

Credit where it’s due

Spurrier mentioned that during his last call-in show, a caller (“Richie from Augusta”) suggested that Clemson’s defensive backs would bite on a hard play-action call, leaving the middle of the field wide-open. Spurrier said he went back and looked at it, and Richie was right, and that he installed a few plays for that.

Richie called in to get his thanks personally. Spurrier promised to send him an autographed ball from the just-released “5-peat” brand.

Quotable

Host Todd Ellis joked that the USC Board of Trustees offered Spurrier a 23-year extension in the hope that he could keep his current five-game winning streak against Clemson going. If the Gamecocks won the next 23, the all-time series would be tied.

“I doubt if we can beat them 23 years in a row, but at the pace we’re going, who knows?” Spurrier responded.

Injury report

Free safety Chaz Elder sustained a concussion against Clemson, but should be fine for the bowl game.

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National bowl projections

... USA Today: Capital One, vs. Wisconsin (unchanged from last week)

... ESPN: ESPN's Mark Schlabach and Brad Edwards: Both predict Capital One Bowl, vs. Wisconsin (Schlabach last week - Capital One vs. Nebrasksa, Edwards last week - Capital One, vs. Michigan State)

... Phil Steele: Cotton vs. Texas (last week - Capital One, vs. Michigan State)

... Athlon Sports: Capital One, vs. Wisconsin (last week - Chick-fil-A, vs. Duke)

... The Sporting News: Outback, vs. Iowa (Last week: Capital One, vs. Wisconsin)

... CBS (Jerry Palm): Outback, vs. Iowa (last week - Outback, vs. Nebraska)

... Orlando Sentinel: Outback vs. Iowa (last week - Chick-fil-A, vs. Duke)

... College Football News: Outback vs. Iowa (last week - Chick-fil-A, vs. Virginia Tech)

... SB Nation: Outback, vs Iowa (Last week: Chick-fil-A, vs. Duke)

... SportsIllustrated: Chick-fil-A, vs. Miami (last week - Chick-fil-A, vs. Duke)

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